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April 18, 2014

Pikolinos Puerto Vallarta 8899

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Peter Piper picked a peck of Pikolinos.

A peck of Pikolinos, Peter Piper picked.

Pikolinos Puerto Vallarta 3.jpg

If you can pick just one Pikolinos,

The Puerto Vallarta should be the Pikolino picked.

Pikolinos Puerto Vallarta 

Are you looking for a closed-toe sandal for your not-so pedicured days, or perhaps for your casual office setting? Consider the Pikolinos Puerto Vallarta with its beautiful craftsmanship including semi-vegetable tanned leathers, unique whip-stitch detail, floral motif, a gel insole and EVA-wrapped midsole for cushion and support, plus an adjustable ankle strap for secure fit. Arch support is moderate with a roomy toe box to accommodate bunions. 

The Puerto Vallarta sandal makes a great summer travel shoe as its lightweight, breathes well and has a durable rubber outsole. Available in euro sizes 35 (4.5-5) to 42 (11.5-12). Best fits a medium to slightly wide foot. 

  • $155 at Zappos, free shipping both ways.
  • $154.95 at Nordstrom, free shipping and returns.
  • $154.95 at Amazon, free shipping and returns.

April 14, 2014

Sanita Vana Sandal Review

Sanita Vana courtesy of Sanita Footwear. Reviewed by Nicole P. 
After the horrendous winter that we've endured, I've been looking forward to letting my toes see the light of day. Each spring I look forward to that day when it is just warm enough to wear sandals, and even though I might be breaking them out a bit early, I go for it. To me, it is a signal that I can start thinking about putting the boots away (5 pairs when counting for myself, my husband, my two kindergartners and my toddler) and start thinking about summer. In my world, the summer sandal has to be a multi-tasker: comfortable, something that hugs my feet securely (not a flip flop style) and stylish. I want a shoe that can go with my 'mom uniform' (capris and a tank) because the last thing I want to be thinking about is which shoe matches my outfit when I’m trying to get everyone out the door for our adventures. Sanita vana 2

Enter the Sanita Vana. I ordered the Vana in time for my first sandal wearing day and they did not disappoint! It is a rubber soled shoe with a leather wrapped wedge heel. The heel is nothing too dramatic, just enough to make it stand out a bit. I love the simplicity of the lines of the straps, both of which are Velcro and completely adjustable. I choose the 'honey' color which is a golden leather with orange undertones. It is a much ricer color in person than the online photos suggest. Don’t miss that little bit of hardware on the straps as it adds a little extra style to the sandal.  

As for comfort, the foot bed is a leather lined and cushioned. The leather is soft but sturdy, and they are surprisingly lightweight. It took a few tries to get the straps adjusted correctly but once I did, I was really satisfied with the fit. My foot feels secure in these sandals and from what I can tell, they fit true to size. I usually wear a 8 1/2 or 9 and the 39 fit perfectly. After a few hours of wearing them the first day, I noticed some rubbing over the first metatarsal, right under the hardware of the toe strap. By the second wearing, I didn't notice it so much.

I have to say that the Vana got a number of compliments each time I wore them…people noticed the sporty nature of the design but that they also looked covertly comfortable. One gal commented that she has fashion shoes and then her comfy shoes, but these looked like the perfect hybrid. I agree! As I mentioned, they fit right in with my spring go to outfits: boyfriend of skinny jeans and a 3/4 length sleeve tee or tank. I can also imagine pairing them with an athletic sundress. Whatever the outfit, I'm looking forward to more adventures in my Sanita Vanas!
A note from Kirsten: I'm categorizing these under "bunion-friendly" as the straps are soft and adjustable over the forefoot. 
The Vana and other sandals from Sanita's new Valentine collection are available at:
  • $140, free shipping and returns.
  • Planet Shoes: $130, free shipping and returns.
  • Shoebuy (available in all four colors, including red): $129.95, free shipping and returns.
  • Zappos: $130, free shipping and returns.
  • $129.95, free shipping and exchanges.



April 11, 2014

Comfortable Closed-Toe Narrow Shoes for Spring

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To piggyback on my last post about footwear for the narrow-footed, I've found five closed-toe options: four in light hues for spring and one in classic black. Of course these come in wides too!

1. Sperry Angelfish: Did you know Sperrys come in widths? There's medium, wide and slim. Slim! What, was "narrow" offensive in some way? Anyway, the Angelfish is a feminine twist on the classic Sperry Topsider. The color featured above is called "pink perf." $90 at

2. Blondo Begonia: I like the Alegria Pesca fisherman sandal, but it is very clunky and doesn't fit a narrow foot well. The Blondo Begonia fisherman is more streamlined and looks really cute on the foot (see the video at Made of quality waterproof leather, the Begonia features a heel to toe cushioned footbed that's removable to accommodate an orthotic. A 1 1/4" heel gives you a little lift. $29.99-139.95 at Amazon, free shipping. $73.99 at Shoemall, free shipping, Shoebuy $139.99 with free shipping and returns. 

3. Cobb Hill Aubrey: A great new style by Cobb Hill with a vintage flair. A happy Zappos customer says, "My 9 1/2 narrow foot is hard to fit, but these are perfect, cute, comfy and I am totally thrilled with them." $99.99 at Zappos, $99.99 at Amazon

4. Blondo Helia: Not ready for sandals because you're in for another April frost? This waterproof ankle boot by Blondo will wrap your foot in soft leathers atop a two inch heel. Removable cushioned insole should accommodate an orthotic. $154.95 at Shoebuy, free shipping and returns. 

5. Mark Lemp Classics Erica: A good option for narrow feet with bunions. The nappa leather is so soft and forgiving it will glide right over any sensitive bumps. Available in AAA and AA at Footsmart for $115.95 and at Amazon for $89.99-115.95. 

Honorable Mention: Naot footwear's Avant-Garde collection of shoes and sandals are advertised as fitting a narrow to medium width foot best. 

April 08, 2014

Comfortable Narrow Width Sandals with Style | Reader Request

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Hi Kirsten, I just found your blog and appreciate your comments on the shoes you review. I have checked back on your previous blogs but did not find any regarding narrow feet. Any suggestions?

Thanks! Dana

Hi Dana,

I'm the hound of shoe search. I put my nose down to the ground and won't stop until I find not just one, two or three bones, but six! Granted, these are sandals, but I dug up closed-toe shoes too--just stay tuned for a separate post dedicated to those. 

Also, if you don't like the styles featured, take note of the brand. These are brands that specialize in multiple widths (you're included, medium and wide feet).  Be sure to check out my category called "Multiple Widths and Extended Sizes" for more narrow options. Ok, let's see what the dog discovered...

1. Blondo Lexy: Blondo is a Canadian company that specializes in winter boots, but their spring styles deserve special attention. The strappy Lexy has a 2 1/4" heel with a cushioned EVA footbed, adjustable ankle strap with stretch goring and a back zipper. $134.95 at Shoebuy, free shipping and returns. $121-135 at Amazon.

2. Birkenstock Bali: You just can't beat the good feeling of summertime Birkenstocks. With all the other comfort brands out there, let's not forget one of the originals. And the Bali style is more delicate than the basic Arizona style, but with the same arch support, deep heel cup and raised metatarsal bar. This style comes in narrow and regular. Both straps are adjustable for a precise fit. $130 at Zappos, free shipping and returns. $129.95 at Shoebuy, free shipping and returns. 

3. David Tate Rome:  To quote an customer, "I have a narrow, thin foot and finding well-fitting, stylish shoes seems at times impossible. My usual size is 7.5 N. The 7.5N in this shoe fits!" The David Tate Rome has a 3" cork wedge with a 1" platform. Since making the graphic including the orange polka dot sandal, I read a review stating the orange is not as bright as it appears online and is more like rust? Ew. Try the green, natural, black or blue, perhaps? $49-54 at, free shipping. $114.95 at Shoebuy, free shipping and returns. 

4. Sofft Paharita: This dressy wedge comes in an Easter basketful of colors. The Paharita features a 2 1/2" cork wedge heel, cushioned footbed, but no arch support. $59.25-82.95 at Shoebuy, free shipping and returns. $31.99-100 at Amazon with free shipping. $54.98-84.97 at, free shipping and exchanges. Limited sizes and colors for $29.99-39.99 at, free shipping.

5. Munro Pisces: This slingback sandal actually comes in an AAAA! Munro is known as a "fit" brand and the Pisces is one of their top-sellers for narrow feet. $140 at Zappos, free shipping both ways. $139.95 at Nordstrom, free shipping and returns. Check out the Reed wedge too--it has a crisp nautical style and great customer reviews. 

6. David Tate Maggie: I picked this style because it reminds me of a Naot closed-back sandal I've seen, but less expensive. The David Tate Maggie has a 1.75" heel and a leather-wrapped foam footbed. $113.95 at Shoebuy, free shipping and returns. 

What are your favorite narrow width sandals? Also, I'm not up to speed on narrow width running shoes--any recomendations? Thank you!

April 05, 2014

6 Career Heels with Arch Support | Reader Request

Dear Kirsten,

I have four charity events and one stylish black tie optional party to go to. I need heels with arch support! I have plantar fasciitis and wear a 41 or true 10. Can you help? I'm wearing dresses to all of them. My feet problems seem to be related to tamoxifen.

Dear reader,

It seems arch support has made its way into ballet flats, loafers, slip-ons and oxfords, but very few heels can claim it. I wish I could show you drop-dead gorgeous heels by Jimmy Choo or Kate Spade with decent arch support, but as you know, they don't exist. Even Stuart Weitzman, who makes elegant evening shoes with fairly comfortable footbeds and manageable heels, doesn't give a hoot about the arch. And the brands that tout cushy, cloud-like padding? Well, padding may feel good on the heel and ball-of-foot, but the arch doesn't care about foam. It needs structure.

So, dear reader, this is what I've found.  I hope one of them suits your fancy and is actually dressy enough for the events that you have planned. 

1. This is the Aetrex Taylor cap-toe mary jane with a 2.5" heel. A built-in Lynco orthotic provides superior arch support and a metatarsal pad reduces pressure on forefoot. A removable footbed will accommodate a dress orthotic. Available in sizes 6-11, medium and wide widths. $149.95 at, free shipping and returns. $129-149 at Amazon, free shipping. If you prefer a true pump to a mary jane, take a look at the Aetrex Jessie. 


2. Aetrex Tara: A glitzier heel than the Taylor with a three inch heel but features the same arch support. Available in medium and wide widths. $139.95 at Shoebuy, free shipping and returns. On sale at for $56.99 with free shipping, $49-125 at Amazon with free shipping and returns, $139.95 at, free shipping. 

Naot Diamanti

3. Naot Diamanti: Although the cork/latex footbed is completely removable to accommodate a dress orthotic, you might find your feet plenty comfortable leaving it as is. This 2 3/4" heel with a 1/2" platform features a steel shank for lateral stability and a lightweight polyurethane sole to absorb shock. $189.95 at, free shipping and exchanges, $190 at Shoebuy, free shipping and returns, $190 at, free shipping and returns. 

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4. If you prefer a 3" heel with arch support, try the Oh! Tori with a removable contoured insole. Plus, if you're into animal prints, the Tori comes in a mean leopard-print pony hair. $149.95 at Shoebuy, free shipping and returns. On sale at from $121-165, free shipping, $76-219 at Amazon, free shipping and returns. 


5. Romanian-made Ara shoes may be lesser known than other comfort brands, but they deliver all-day comfort and support while maintaining a truly elegant profile. The Tacy is a simple, classic pump with a 2" heel and 1/2" platform. The Tacy features moderate arch support and a cushioned footbed. Read more about this style at the Ara website. Runs slightly large. $194.95 at, free shipping and exchanges. $177 at Shoebuy, free shipping and returns. $189.95 at The Walking Company, free shipping. 


6. Taryn Rose Fierce: If you can wear an open-toe 3" heel, this one might just do the trick. You can actually see the arch support in the Fierce style by Italian-made Taryn Rose. $249 at Zappos; $244 at Amazon with free shippng and returns. 

Honorable Mention: The Earthies Monza from last season. See it on my friend, Connie, and read her review. The shoe is still available and on sale at a few retailers. 

One more suggestion. You might want to try a pair of Orthaheel Slimfit orthotics to fit into your favorite pair of heels (they work best if the shoe has removable insoles). The Slimfit is made to fit into dress shoes and provides excellent support. 

Readers, do you have further recommendations? Please leave a comment to help our reader find the perfect shoes for her upcoming charity events.